Five Berkshire gastropubs named among the best in the UK

Five Berkshire gastropubs have been named among the best in Britain.

The Beehive in White Waltham, The Loch and Tyne in Old Windsor and The Hind’s Head in Bray have all made the coveted ranks of the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub list.

Also in the top 50 is The Bailwick Free House by Windsor Great Park, on the Berkshire and Surrey border.

Read more: Berkshire’s oldest and quirkiest pubs mapped for a bar crawl with a difference

Meanwhile The Miller of Mansfield in Goring on the Oxfordshire border came in at no.52 in the overall top 100 – but it comes as the couple behind its success are about to bid farewell to the venue.

The list is voted for by hundreds of experts and aficionados in the food and hospitality industries – including gastropub operators, food writers, top industry chefs, pub guide editors, according to the awards’ website.

Here are the Berkshire gastropubs that made the cut:

The Beehive, White Waltham

Place in list: 10

Judges describe this gem of a pub near Maidenhead as a “beautiful British country pub” with a “delicious” menu, fine wine list and great cask ales.

Head chef and owner Dominic Chapman was a contestant on The Great British Menu and is known for his menu of simple modern dishes and mantra of “feed you and make you happy”.

Standout dishes on the menu include Dorset snails with garlic butter, gorgonzola and grilled sourdough; lasagne of wild rabbit with wood blewits and chervil; rotolo of wild mushrooms, chestnuts, black cabbage, crisp sage and parmesan; and Comice pear and Poire Williams Bakewell Tart with crème fraiche ice cream.

The Loch and the Tyne, Old Windsor

Place in list: 27

A new entry on the list this year, judges say you “won’t be disappointed” with Adam Handling’s modern gastropub.

Dishes have included rabbit terrine with pease pudding; and Orkney scallop with leek and horseradish to start, followed by mains including potato with Jerusalem artichoke and white truffle; monkfish with chorizo and coleslaw; and roast halibut with pickled radish and dressed crab.

Classics on the menu include mac & cheese; beef lardo burger and fish & chips.

The guide says: “The venue offers everything you’d expect from a modern-day gastropub, including a private dining room and somewhere luxurious and comfortable to rest your head following a sumptuous feed.”

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 list

1 The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge

2 Parkers Arms, Clitheroe

3 The Star Inn at Harome, Harome

4 The Angel at Hetton, Hetton

5 Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe

6 The Sportsman, Whitstable

7 The Guinea Grill, London

8 The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury

9 The Mariners, Rock

10 The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

11 The Beehive, White Waltham, Berkshire

12 The Kentish Hare, Bidborough

13 The Coach, Marlow

14 The Cornish Arms, Tavistock

15 The Harwood Arms, London

16 The Red Lion and Sun, London

17 The Pyne Arms, Barnstaple

18 The Rat Inn, Anick

19 The Broad Chare, Newcastle Upon Tyne

20 The Hardwick, Abergavenny

21 The Bull & Last, London

22 The Masons Arms, Knowstone

23 The Pipe and Glass, Barnsley

24 The Longs Arms, South Wraxall

25 The Swan, Bampton

26 The White Swan at Fence, Fence

27 The Loch and The Tyne, Old Windsor

28 The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne

29 The French House, Soho

30 The Moorcock, Norland Moor

31 The Shibden Mill Inn, Shibden

32 The Pack Horse, Hayfield

33 Heft, High Newton

34 The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon

35 The Five Bells Inn, Cullompton

36 St Kew Inn, Bodmin

37 The Castle Inn, Castle Combe

38 The Canton Arms, Stockwell

39 The Higher Buck, Waddington

40 The Duck Inn, Pett Bottom

41 The Hovingham Inn, Yorkshire

42 The Plough, Coton

43 The Three Hills, Bartlow

44 The Hind’s Head, Bray

45 The Dog at Wingham, Wingham

46 The Bell Inn, Langford

47 The Black Bear Inn, Usk

48 The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton

49 The Bailiwick Free House, Egham Wick

50 The Cross, Kenilworth

The Hind’s Head, Bray

The Hind's Head pub
The Hind’s Head pub

Place in list: 44

Heston Blumenthal’s one Michelin-starred gastropub is world-famous, and makes no. 44 in this year’s list.

The judges note that: “The Hind’s Head lives up to its surroundings, merging classic British style and food with Heston’s modern thinking.”

Mains have included oxtail and kidney pudding with oxtail sauce; cauliflower macaroni with slow cooked hen’s egg, brioche crumb and smoked salt; and roast cod with greens, cider butter sauce and caviar.

The Bailiwick Free House, Egham Wick

Place in list: 49

On the border of Berkshire and Surrey and located on the gates of the Windsor Great Park, judges say diners at the Bailiwick Free House will “find some of the best food they’ve ever eaten”.

The a la carte and a tasting menu has boasted dishes including pig trotter terrine with apple, black pudding and sauce gribiche; wild mushroom tartlet with mushroom ketchup, confit egg yolk and 36-month aged parmesan; and corned beef from cured aged beef cap with pickled vegetables and English mustard to start.

It’s all led by chef Steven Ellis, while desserts are in very safe hands with his wife Ami, who judges note is a “top-notch pastry chef who pumps out some of the best desserts in the gastropub world”.

The Miller of Mansfield, Goring

Place in list: 52

Judges described The Miller of Mansfield as a “true gem of a pub featuring some standout nosh and drinks”.

The 18th Century venue has been run by Mary and Nick Galer since 2014, with standout dishes from the menu including confit duck pressing with spiced pear, lovage mayo and pickled red onions; grilled Cornish brill on the bone with tarragon gnocchi, spring cabbage and fennel and ajo blanco sauce; and 72% chocolate custard with streusel biscuit, raspberries and a cocoa tuile.

However the pub’s inclusion on the list comes as Mary and Nick are saying goodbye to the venue.

In an interview with The Caterer, they said the future of the venue was in limbo after a rent increase and revised lease term.

Let us know about your favourite Berkshire gastropub in the comments below

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